The Angel Badia Camps exhibition at the The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà in Puis-reig. Image: The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà

Permanent Angel Badia Camps exhibition opens in Puis-reig, Spain

The Angel Badia Camps exhibition at the The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà in Puis-reig. Image: The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà
The Angel Badia Camps exhibition at the The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà in Puis-reig. Image: The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà

If you’re a comics fan travelling to Barcelona this summer, then you could do worse than to take a road trip to nearby Puis-reig and visit the Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà, now host to a permanent exhibition of the work of artist Àngel Badia Camps, who died earlier this year, aged 89.

After establishing himself as an artist in the 1950s in Spain, Camp’s work first appeared in the UK in Valentine, in 1961. Over the next few years, he contributed strips and art to SerenadeRoxy and True Life Library.

Serenade - October 1962 - Angel Badia Camps Serenade - January 1963 - Angel Badia Camps

Inspired by Jorge Longaron, his fellow artists in the Selecciones Ilustradas studio set the visual tone of British romance comics for over 20 years – and Camps soon proved to be one the very best. Camps’ strip work – spanning 1961 to 1967 – is almost indistinguishable from Longaron.

“He mixed a thrillingly loose and expressive line with an inventive and sophisticated sense of composition,” notes David Roach, author of Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art. “His girls were the very epitome of ‘the Spanish look’ – heavy-lidded, thickly mascara’d eyes, big hair, big lips and lithe, languid bodies.”

He is perhaps better known in the UK – and indeed, elsewhere, as a cover artist, producing hundreds of covers for various British titles starting with the Sexton Blake Library in 1960, followed by work on titles such as True Life LibraryStar LoveLove Story LibraryOraclePop Pic LibraryCharmYoung Lovers and more.

Love Library 511 - Angel Badia Camps

Situated in the  Ramon Llobet room, the Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà’s exhibition features 41 drawings and three paintings, donated to his home town by Camps, for display for at least 25 years.

A by Badia Camps for the science fiction juvenile adventure books Tom Swift, by Victor Appleton II (Harriet Adams), published by Editorial Molino (1977)
A by Badia Camps for the science fiction juvenile adventure books Tom Swift, by Victor Appleton II (Harriet Adams), published by Editorial Molino (1977)
The cover of "Invasor de mas Alla" ("Invaders from Beyond), based on the novel by A. Thorkent, published by Editorial Bruguera in May 1973. Cover by Angle Badia Camps
The cover of “Invasor de mas Alla” (“Invaders from Beyond), based on the novel by A. Thorkent, published by Editorial Bruguera in May 1973. Cover by Angle Badia Camps

A report on the Spanish news site Regio 7 indicates Ángel Badia, who devoted his later life to painting, made the bequest over a year before his death to transfer part of his work to his hometown. The works were chosen by the artist himself and his son, Jordi, organised by stages in his long career, and techniques.

Despite being born in the Puig-reig area, Àngel Badia Camps lived away from the town for all his all his professional life, although he maintained links with it. The news site NacioBergueda notes the Badia i Camps family was forced to leave Puig-reig in Franco’s time. Angel Badia’s father had been city councillor during the Second Republic, left for the first time in exile and, upon returning, the regime prohibited him from settling in his town – and he was forced to live in Barcelona.

Àngel Badia Camps work graces the covers of a huge variety of books, comics and magazines and

Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà - Angel Badia Camps ExhibitionYou can visit the exhibition during library hours. The Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà is a municipal facility that has the support of the Diputació de Barcelona, for the provision of reading services, access to the Internet, and access to all kinds of information. It is also an important cultural centre that offers a stable program for children and adults, including presentations by comic creators.

Biblioteca Guillem de Berguedà, Passeig de la Riera de Sala, 5-7. · Puig-reig · Barcelona| E-mail | Facebook | Blog

There’s a biography of Àngel Badia Camps here on the Illustration Art Gallery

Read David Roach’s series of articles on Angel Badia Camps on “Today’s Inspiration”

More Angel Badia covers here on the Mundobocado blog

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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